Advertisement

Montenegro court delays extradition of Terraform Labs co-founder to South Korea

Do Kwon is arrested in Podgorica

(Reuters) - Montenegro's top court on Friday decided to delay the extradition of Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon to South Korea until it clarifies prosecution complaints about the legality of its extradition ruling, the court said on its website.

The Supreme State Prosecution Office had earlier filed a request challenging the shortened procedure that led to the court's ruling earlier this month approving Kwon's extradition to South Korea to face criminal charges relating to the collapse of his multi-billion dollar crypto enterprise.

The country's top prosecutor also challenged some technical procedures relating to the court's extradition order.

That ruling by the court had overturned a decision to hand over the jailed crypto entrepreneur to the United States, where a civil trial on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charges against Kwon was scheduled to start on March 25.

Kwon and his company Terraform Labs were sued by the SEC last February over the May 2022 collapse of the TerraUSD and Luna cryptocurrencies, which authorities have said caused about $40 billion of losses in crypto markets.

The SEC said Terraform and Kwon deceived investors about the stability of TerraUSD, a "stablecoin" designed to maintain a constant $1 price, and how a popular Korean mobile payment app used the Terraform blockchain to settle transactions.

Kwon, who has been held in Montenegro since his arrest last March, has denied wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alex Richardson)